DeAndre Jordan has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not join the Brooklyn Nets at Disney, he announced on Twitter Monday. He caught the virus while in Brooklyn with the Nets, who are not scheduled to travel to Orlando until July 7. The Nets will sign a replacement player for Jordan, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Jordan is the fifth Nets player to reveal that he will not make the trip to Orlando with the team when the season resumes. Wilson Chandler opted out of doing so in order to spend more time with his family. Rookie big man Nicolas Claxton had surgery that will keep him out. And of course, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were both ruled out with injuries of their own. Earlier Monday, Spencer Dinwiddie also revealed that he had tested positive for coronavirus, but his status for Orlando is not yet known. Losing him too would leave the Nets without arguably their four highest-profile players.
Missing the playoffs at Disney would not be the worst thing for the Nets. They owe their first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but not if it lands in the top 14. Should they keep their pick this offseason, they'd send their choice to Minnesota next season, when Durant and Irving's availability would presumably lower the value of their pick. An extra young player or trade asset would be a decent consolation prize for a Nets team focused on next season anyway.
The lost reps aren't ideal for Jordan, though. After coming off of the bench for most of the season, interim coach Jacque Vaughn elevated him into the starting lineup after taking over for the fired Kenny Atkinson. While Jordan presumably has the support of close friends Durant and Irving, he is nearly a decade older than his competition at center, Jarrett Allen. Now Allen will have a chance to impress the organization at Disney and potentially take back his starting role for next season.
Next season is ultimately what matters to Brooklyn. With Durant and Irving out, the Nets had little to gain by playing Jordan in Orlando anyway. Their hope, for now, is surely a speedy recovery for both Jordan and Dinwiddie.